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News >  Nation/World

WHO concerned over North America, Europe cases

UPDATED: Mon., Nov. 16, 2020

Associated Press

GENEVA — The World Health Organization director-general says the U.N. agency is “extremely concerned” by a surge of coronavirus cases particularly in Europe and North America, saying health workers and systems are “being pushed to the breaking point.”

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus also expressed hope about the “encouraging news” about COVID-19 vaccines and said he remained “cautiously optimistic” that new tools to fight the pandemic could emerge in the coming months.

Tedros spoke to reporters at a regular briefing at WHO headquarters, after returning to the premises after a two-week self-quarantine as a precaution after coming into contact with a person who tested positive for COVID-19. He said he never had any symptoms.

Above all, the WHO chief expressed concern about health care workers in many countries who have been struggling amid surging case counts that have filled hospital beds and led at times for hospital authorities to airlift COVID-19 patients to other health facilities.

Tedros said he did not undergo a COVID-19 test, saying it was not required under WHO protocols because he was not showing any symptoms.

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